Return of the Tridentine Mass

By Richard Salbato

October 18, 2006


Pope Benedict XVI has signed the document that makes the Tridentine Mass legal for all priests throughout the world.  This long awaited, and expected, document is a result of the conference of bishops on the Liturgy in the first months of his pontificate.  Although I have fought against the Schismatic Traditionalists, I have longed for a return of the Tridentine Mass.

I have never liked the Novus Ordo Mass but not for the reasons of the Traditionalists.  See my article, The Old Latin Mass, . My objections to the Novus Ordo are that:

1. it was not clear enough as to what a priest or bishop could do and could not do. 2. It allowed priests at times to use their own language. 3. It was not clear about the architecture of the Mass and the servers. 3. It was and is not reverent, solemn and holy. 4. It is not consistent throughout the world. 5. It has allowed abuse.

Although the Novus Ordo did not advocate the previous or the following abuses it did allow them.   This would not have happened to the Tridentine Mass.  It allowed the priest to face the people. It allowed the choir to be put on the altar.  It allowed people other than priests and altar-boys on the altar.  It allowed the removal of the Altar-Rail. It allowed strange music.  It allowed the holding of hands during Mass.  It allowed running all over the Church hugging and shaking hands.  It allowed standing during the consecration and elevation.  It allowed the removal of veils on woman’s heads. It allowed communion in the hand and standing for communion. It allowed the change in the Tabernacle location.  It allowed the removal of the patent and the altar bells.

None of these things are in the Sacramentary of the Novus Ordo but they were not clear enough to stop these abuses.  And although Pope John Paul II wrote a very clear document about the abuses of the Novus Ordo, Redemptionis Sacramentum , the abuses have not stopped. 

This lack of respect and even AWE at the Mass along with some heresies coming out of the seminaries has even breeded such heresies as: 1. the Mass as a meal, 2. the Eucharist as symbolic, 3. and all the people as priests.  It has also diminished the Mass as the continuation of the sacrifice of the Cross of Christ. I could go on and on but let us look at what might be the problems in the future with this new document on the Tridentine.

The New Document coming on the Tridentine will allow any priest in the world to offer the Tridentine Mass without asking the local bishop.  If then the bishop has an objection for not offering it in that parish, the bishop must give the priest a letter in writing as to why.  Many traditionalists will interpret that to be the same as Pope John Paul II’s  the Indult, Quattuor Annos, where many bishops stopped its implementation.

But this is not the case.  If a bishop does not allow the Tridentine Mass, he must give a reason and this will most assuredly be sent on to Rome. The bishop will understand that and very few will write these letters. Any letter, even one with good reasons, will be met with a huge backlash.  

The big problem will be the priests themselves, who first of all do not know how to do the Tridentine Mass and second, do not think the parish will support it after 35 years of Novus Ordo.

This will become our job.  We must teach the priest why this Mass will bring people back to the pews.  We might even offer to teach the people how to follow the Tridentine Mass.  We may even help the priest learn the Mass.  We must help finance the Architectural Changes that needs to be to offer the Mass.  We should promote it and promote it until people at least come and look and then once they attend (if properly done) they will never go back to the Novus Ordo.

Do not allow a modified Tridentine Mass. Do not allow women without veils.  Do not allow bad music.  Do not allow a choir in the front of the Church.  Do not allow communion standing.  Get active in your parish and do it correctly.  If you do, the Church will come back to its former glory and the pews will fill up again. 

Right now, I am making myself available to preach from the altar of any Church to teach people the Tridentine Mass and to explain to them why they should have it in their Church.  Anyone who wanted to start an organization of “SUPPORTING THE TRIDENTINE MASS” to bring about the money needed and the teachers needed, let me know and I will offer my services. 

I see the day when the Novus Ordo will die out from just lack of interest although this will take time. It will take time and work.  Consider where there is only one Tridentine Mass in three close by Churches.  I predict that within two years the Tridentine will have more people than all the other Masses put together. 

I am emphatic about this and emphatic that it be done correctly and I will tell you why.  Although I have defended the Novus Ordo, I believe the Novus Ordo was predicted at Fatima when the Angel predicted the horrors of irreverence, sacrilege and indifference against the Eucharist. I see no improvement in the future.  It is time to end a bad experiment.

Richard Salbato

October 16, 2006